Need a dessert with a scary-sounding name to end your Halloween celebration?
Look no further than Bloody Black Hearts, created by JCCC student chef Annie Blackwell. The light-as-air meringue boxes ooze with blackberry jam filling accented by blood-red raspberries.
But don’t be scared by the meringues that form the base of the dessert. Blackwell says meringues look intimidating and take some time to make, but are a simple concoction if you just follow a few rules. In fact, she mastered the art of making meringues the first time out, which irked her mom, who’s never mastered the art.
Essentially, a meringue is a foam that’s held together by the protein in the egg white. Oil makes the bubbles burst, Blackwell said. That means you need to wash everything that might come into contact with the egg whites to make sure there’s no fat or oil to make the foamy concoction fall flat.
The egg whites cannot be contaminated with yolk because of its fat content, or they will not whip properly. So, separate the eggs into custard cups then add them to the bowl you’ll use for whipping them. If a yolk breaks and yolk gets into the egg white in the custard cup, discard both the white and the yolk, or save for later use.
When beating the egg whites, beat them until they hold their shape, but don’t overbeat them. They’re at the right stage when you remove the beater from the bowl, flip it upside down, and the meringue’s tip bends just a bit. When it comes time to fill the piping bag, don’t fill it more than half-full to keep it easy to handle.
No time for meringues today?
Save the recipe, substitute raspberry jam for the blackberry jam in the filling, and you have a perfect Valentine’s Day treat!